Twenty years ago, Andy Levine biked from Switzerland to the South of France. In Burgundy, he discovered one of his favorite benefits of biking. “Because you’re working it off on the bike, you get to enjoy more food and wine,” he says.
That trip inspired him to create DuVine, a cycling and adventure company that today hosts bike tours in Europe, Latin America, the U.S. and Africa. Think pedaling and tasting and sipping your way through Tuscany accompanied by a master chef, or exploring volcanoes and vineyards in Chile on two wheels.
While Levine is a definite fan of performance cycling and can wax poetic on the cardio and weight-management benefits of being on a bike, he’s even more passionate about the deeper ways in which cycling can enrich your life.
Not sure if biking is right for you? Consider these benefits before you make up your mind.
3 Benefits of Biking
1. It’s age-defying.
“Biking makes me feel much younger than I am,” Levine says. “It makes you feel like a kid. How can you not feel 12 years old doing something so fun and carefree?”
2. It’s great for stress relief and mental health.
“When I’m on my bike, I’m just happy. Long rides where the wind is on my face, my blood is pumping, and the smells of the world waft by me make it so easy to be grateful and joyful,” he explains. The activity does combine two research-backed mood boosters: endorphin-stimulating exercise and being out in nature.
“I’m also pretty high-energy, and a good ride acts like a yoga class or massage. It winds me down and makes me feel calm and balanced,” he says. “It gives me perspective, too, since no ride is ever the same, and I’m able to see how the landscape around me is constantly changing and evolving—just like everything in life. I do my best thinking on the bike.”
3. It will expand your social life and community.
“Cycling is a lifestyle, and the sense of community among cyclists is incredibly strong. Personally, my social life revolves around cycling,” Levine says. “I met all of my friends this way, and it’s easy to bond quickly since there’s so much talking and chatter that happens on a long ride.”
“It’s also a great common ground for networking. At DuVine, our employees regularly step out of the office for an afternoon ride together. It makes me so happy to see the camaraderie evolving through cycling. On our trips, many guests form lifelong friendships, often meeting fellow travelers that they will continue to vacation with year after year. The simplest way to explain it is that biking brings people together.”